18 November 2014
Critique des jolies femmes, des principaux bordels, et maisons auxiliaires de Paris ou lettres d’un Provençal à son épouse. Paris: at the Royal Palace, 1805.
Duodecimo (135 x 80 mm). 72 pages. Printed price on the title amended in manuscript from 3 francs to 8 francs. 6 aquatint plates, including the frontispiece. (Small repair in the frontispiece and margin of one text leaf, frontispiece margins and last text leaf lightly browned and soiled.) Contemporary half calf over green marbled boards, flat spine gilt in compartments and with manuscript label. Provenance: F.M. Caye (his label and bookplate).
THE ONLY KNOWN COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION OF ONE OF THE RAREST AND MOST SIGNIFICANT FRENCH EROTIC BOOKS OF THE EARLY 19TH CENTURY, a repressive period during which few were published. The discovery of this copy settled a century of uncertainty and a long debate about the composition of this text. Lemonnyer knew this work only a in later edition, which led him to misattribute it to Frederick Hankey (1833-1883). As a result Hankey was long thought to have been the author. Not in the Bibliothèque nationale de France; not in WorldCat, which only lists later editions there and at the British Library. The work was rare in its day as there is no record of it being prosecuted until it was reissued in the 1860s. Dutel A-245 (this copy); Cf. Gay-Lemonnyer I-762 and II-831.
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